Vladlen Tatarsky was killed in an attack allegedly from an improvised explosive device that also injured 30
A café in the historical center of the Russian city of St. Petersburg was rocked by an explosion on Sunday that killed prominent war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and injured 30 people. According to emergency services, an improvised explosive device was detonated in the café. RT has gathered what is known about the incident so far.
An explosion hit the ‘Street Bar 1’ café in St. Petersburg on Sunday. A video that caught the moment of the blast showed a detonation wave so powerful that it caused the café’s façade to collapse. According to the emergency services, 15 square meters of the glazing were destroyed.
St. Petersburg Governor Aleksandr Beglov confirmed that one person was killed and 25 others injured in the attack, adding that 19 of those injured had been hospitalized. The deceased was later identified as prominent Russian war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky. TASS reported, citing emergency services, that the force of the improvised explosive device allegedly used in the incident was equivalent to 200 grams of TNT.
Where and when did it happen?
The ‘Street Bar 1’ café is located in the historical center of St. Petersburg, on Universitetskaya Embankment, just across the Neva River from the iconic Admiralty building and the office of the Russian Constitutional Court.
The venue was hosting an event at which Tatarsky was giving a talk and meeting with followers. It is unclear how many people were in attendance. Videos that surfaced on social media showed dozens of people standing in a state of shock outside the café in the immediate aftermath of the blast.
What are officials saying?
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case over the incident. The law enforcement agency said in a statement that an “unidentified improvised explosive device” was detonated at the scene. The police also confirmed Tatarsky’s death. Details of the incident are still being investigated, it added.
The probe was taken under “special control” of the Committee’s Central Office in Moscow. A group of specialists from the Committee’s Central Forensics Department has been deployed to the scene, the statement added.
Who is Vladlen Tatarsky?
Vladlen Tatarsky, whose real name was Maksim Fomin, gained prominence in Russia as a blogger and war correspondent amid the Ukraine conflict. A Donbass native, he joined the local militias in the wake of the Maidan coup in Kiev back in 2014, where he served until 2019.
Tatarsky regularly reported on the battlefield developments in Donbass and also authored several books. This past January, Kiev placed sanctions on him.
What else is known?
Russia’s REN TV channel reported, citing a witness, that a statuette exploded in the hands of Tatarsky while he was speaking. The figurine was reportedly presented to him by someone from the audience.
A video that surfaced on social media showed a man giving Tatarsky what appears to be a large bust. Kirill Makarov, the youth policy minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who personally knew Tatarsky, also said that an improvised explosive device might have been disguised as a statuette.
The Russian authorities have not commented on these reports. TASS, citing an emergency services source, reported that an improvised explosive device might have been detonated near the stage where Tatarsky was speaking.
April 03, 2023 at 03:03AM